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Big Black

Big Black

an American punk rock band

Big Black was an American punk rock band from Evanston, Illinois, active from 1981 to 1987. Founded by singer and guitarist Steve Albini, the band's initial lineup also included guitarist Santiago Durango and bassist Jeff Pezzati, both of Naked Raygun. In 1985, Pezzati was replaced by Dave Riley, who played on Big Black's two full-length studio albums, Atomizer (1986) and Songs About Fucking (1987).

Big Black's songs, which openly dealt with such topics as mutilation, murder, rape, child molestation, arson, immolation, racism, and misogyny, established them as a group who acknowledged no taboos; and while they didn't seem to be advocating the antisocial or criminal behavior they sang about, there was also a level of familiarity with their subject matter that made more than a few listeners blanch. Big Black were a band who went where few bands dared to go (and where many felt bands shouldn't go), and for good or ill, their pervasive influence had a seismic impact on indie rock. At the same time, Big Black were a group who maintained firmly held ideals when it came to doing business: they paid for their own recordings, booked their own shows, handled their own management and publicity, and remained stubbornly independent at a time when many independent bands were eagerly reaching out for the major-label brass ring.


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